February 2, 2005.
Give me a firm place to stand and I will move the earth."
Taking a stand can be more than a little risky these days. After all, it is generally a whole lot easier to just go with the flow and follow the rest of the pack, even when the crowd is headed in the wrong direction. Its a sad reality that far too many folks tend to tag along for the ride, blindly following the lead of whoever happens to be out in front at any given time.
These follow-the-leader types invariably go wherever everyone else is going and regularly do whatever everyone else is doing; rarely if ever choosing to set their own pace or chart their own direction in life. Oh sure, theyll spin a great tale of how they are doing their own thing, but truth be told, they are doing anything but. Instead of taking a stand and taking control of their lives, their lives are slowly but surely spinning out of control. Their control, that is.
You cannot run away from weakness; you must some time fight it out or perish; and if that be so, why not now, and where you stand?
Robert Louis Stevenson
We all hold deep within ourselves bedrock principles that define who we are and what we stand for; and what we wont stand for as well. This inner code of conduct shapes what we say, think or do; and what we are destined to become. It sets us apart from everyone else on earth. Try as we might, we can never escape these core beliefs, these intrinsic values we hold so dear. Attempting to dodge or skirt around the basic ideals indelibly etched into our hearts and souls only creates conflict, confusion and unhappiness.
Yet far too often we end up compromising these primary values, struggling to fit in or attempting to not stand out from everyone around us. We know we shouldnt, but the possibility of drawing a line in the sand and taking a firm stand that sets us apart from the crowd sends numbing chills up and down our spine. As a result, we end up giving in or worse yet, giving up; watching all each and every dream and aspiration weve ever imagined fade out of sight. Before too long, we end up just kind of blending into the crowd. Is this any way for that winner in you to live?
The ultimate measure of a person is not where they stand in moments of comfort and convenience; but where they stand in times of challenge and controversy. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Look, youve got way too much to live for and way too much to lose to waste even one day chasing your tail and chasing the crowd around the block. If you truly aspire to something much higher, desperately longing to take your life to where youve always dreamed of going, then youve got to boldly push past those obstacles that have previously held you back by pushing the envelope well past the norm well beyond where the crowd has managed to go. If youre ever going to add that heightened meaning, perspective and passion you yearn for in your life, youve got to be willing to stake your place among the winners by taking a stand.
Taking the chances that come along with taking a stand is what high octane living is all about. Whenever you dare to take a hard stand, especially when that stand is not particularly popular with those around you, you take a chance that you will be ostracized, viewed as somehow different from everyone else. Hallelujah! Come on for crying out loud, who wants to be like everyone else? You shouldnt, because you are YOU; a uniquely special individual with an extraordinary song burning within that needs to come out, that needs to be sung without worrying what others may think or do.
Courage is contagious. When a brave man takes a stand, the spines of others are often stiffened. Billy Graham
Thomas Jefferson said, In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock. And make no mistake about it, it is these matters of principle that matter the most. You need to do what you know is the right thing to do each and every day, paying little heed to those who disagree with your decisions. You must invariably live up to the standards of excellence you have established for yourself, never down to those that others may have set. In short, you need to stand up for what you know is right, even if you must stand alone.
Interestingly, youll discover that when you part ways with the going nowhere crowd, youll almost immediately begin attracting friends and acquaintances that will emphatically empower your belief systems and strengthen your resolve to be your best and do your best. As Confucius once said, Virtue is not left to stand alone. He who practices it will have neighbors. In other words, the best in you will bring out the best in others, and vice versa. Now youre talking about some big time WOW POWER that will definitely stand out from the rest of the crowd. So why not start a stand out performance by taking a stand right now?
The Bottom Line: When youre willing to take a stand when a stand is needed, your show the courage to take your life to a whole other level.
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